Doris Bergman’s pre-everything-in-February fete, held once again at Cafe La Boheme in West Hollywood, is one of the events I look forward to all year. My broken back was really acting-up, but I just had to suck it up because I didn’t want to miss it. I had someone carrying my bags, so that made it easier. And the gifts that were in said bags were well worth the pain.

So, let’s get right to the highlights of them:

All photos by Karen Salkin. Click on them to en-large.

Ollin Arm Candy—Once again my favorite sponsor, these clever and attractive purses and accessories, made from comics, bubble gun wrappers, and the like, were a hit with all in attendance. Guests who weren’t into the whimsical designs went for the more grown-up black and silver ones.

Traveler’s Choice Luggage—I was thrilled to see this company back again! Their new carry-on suitcases are a smart combination of hard and soft areas. I wish they had been around for my very many trips to New York to entertain my little mother over the years!

Qmadix—I was happy to see this title sponsor there because the only gift I knew Mr. X would be happy to see coming into the already-crowded house was an iPhone 5 case from them. The cases have all kinds of cool names like Groove, Cube, Epic, and Crave, to match the hip designs. I would have chosen the adorable LoveBug, which looks like a ladybug, (ahhh,) but, of course, my basic-loving beau chose black, (but with six gray spots down the sides, so he can distinguish it from everything else in the house!)

Whitening Lightning—I wish that everyone on TV would receive one of these teeth-whitening kits! I’m always shocked when I see people on TV with, to put it nicely, less than white teeth. And this company also has lip glosses that make teeth appear whiter. Are you listening, Hollywood?

Lusciouss Jewelry—I don’t think that I’ve ever before seen a jewelry line where every single item in it is attractive! I don’t know how the guests chose just one item from among the many gorgeous rings, bracelets, and earrings. Kudos to the designer!

Art Lewin—This celebrity men’s clothier thanked me right away for all my past columns about suites! That’s such a rarity in this biz, and really appreciated by me. In addition to lovely compliments, he was gifting snazzy ties and dress socks.

Kelly Nishimoto Pants—When I was a dancer, other girls thought I was lucky to not have a big butt to get in the way. But since then, I wish I had a bit more in that department. This designer’s “cute booty” casual pants might help with that situation; they feature adorable ruffled pockets on the back, and people will be looking at them instead of the girth (or lack thereof) of my posterior! (She has a great-colored website, too!)

Twisted Silver—This jewelry line just gets bigger all the time! The designer was showing lots of her hip, funky, pieces that are forged in silver and other metals, often combined into one item. I actually own several myself.

Nature’s Flavors–This company has so many fun products that they could do their own gifting suite!!! This time, they handed out bags chock full of baking flavorings, (natural ones, of course,) coffee, and teas.

Bon Bon Home–This Solana Beach boutique has tons of attractive items, but at the suite they were gifting something cute for Valentine’s Day. It’s a lightweight heart-shaped rock, with a penny in it, which must be a good luck thing. I noticed a few other sponsors in the suite using them as paperweights for their business card collection. So, those people were already lucky to have the rocks to use!

My Spa Life—They were giving out cute carry bags containing several of their one-use refresher products for face, eyes, and feet. After a whole day at this fabulous Doris Bergman event, I needed a whole case of them, especially the feet wraps!!!

Pauline’s Peanut Brittle—I’m not a fan of peanut brittle, in general, but I could eat a ton of the delectable homemade chocolate-covered version from this local company!

Dulcenea Lingerie—They were gifting sexy little lacy thongs. Perfect for this love-filled event.

The ground floor activities, taken from up above.

Whirl-a-Style—As a girl who has “enough hair for ten people,” (according to the poor stylists who’ve had to blow-dry it through the years,) I was especially happy to find these new products to clip my tresses back with. I just hope they’re industrial strength for my massive man!

Undiepads–These disposable panties that are for “that time of the month,” are attractive enough to be worn on Valentine’s Day! I guess that’s just one of the reasons they were featured in this pre-Valentines Suite! Duh.

Handmade Hearts—I loved what their site said about me for choosing a blue glass heart at the last suite, but this time I was attracted to the aqua. When I looked it up after, it mentions that aqua is the “color of life” and “compassion,” two things I really do have, in spades! It adds that aqua is “perfect for a sensitive person, like a healer or therapist.” Well, while I am sensitive, I actually need a healer or therapist! Maybe this is telling me that I should just try to heal myself.

Aditi Jewelry—This sister duo was gifting sweet little handmade earrings. I don’t know which was lovelier—the earrings themselves or the bond between these supportive siblings. You just know that I’m jealous of the latter.

As always, Doris had a charity beneficiary, and this year’s choice was Wednesday’s Child, a repeat from her September event. You can learn more about this very worthy endeavor here:

The buffet.

The gifts, charity component, and guest list were all great, but the best part of Doris’ events is the food. She feeds everyone (from VIPs to sponsors to volunteers to security people!,) all day long! And very generously, I might add. No other pre-awards show events can compare in that department. Firstly, there were two hours of passed hors d’oeuvres, to keep up our strength as we mingled and got gifted. We munched on grilled shrimp, crab cakes, chicken skewers, and more.

Dessert buffet.

Then we moved on to the umbrella-ed patio for a gorgeous buffet brunch of poached salmon, filet mignon, and grilled chicken accompanied by several vegetables and salads. I, of course, stretch the day out to make sure I don’t miss the wonderful dessert buffet, where, this year, my favorite was a layered butterscotch and chocolate pudding creation.

Everyone left Cafe La Boheme totally exhausted, yet happy, sated, and elated. This was the perfect kick-off to the Oscars season.

Speaking of the Academy Awards, next week will feature reviews of films with nominations, and the week after, I’ll bring you all the tales from the rest of the gifting suites. If I have the strength!



  1. Karen, it was a pleasure meeting you again, and a pleasure adding to your collection of my Handmade Hearts! I hope your hearts bring you much love and joy always. Wear them in good health is my wish for you. Thanks for your wonderful words, again & again!!

    Spread Love Daily… one heart can change the world!

    (-; Hillel

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